Covid-19 coronavirus: Christchurch teacher aide bemused at Auckland DHB’s contact over vaccine ‘confirmation’

A Christchurch schoolteacher aide is bemused at being contacted by the Auckland DHB “confirming” her unsolicited Covid-19 vaccination.

Sara Currie approached officials concerned that the mix-up could mean a frontline worker misses out on the critical jab.

The current Pfizer vaccine rollout is confined to priority groups, such as border, MIQ and high-risk frontline workers and their households.

But Currie received an unexpected text message on Tuesday with information “confirming” that her Covid-19 vaccination was booked.

“At first I thought it was spam so didn’t respond,” says Currie.

“But then I contacted the Covid helpline and they said it was correct and asked which DHB I worked for.

“I told them I was a teacher aide in Christchurch and it was a mistaken identity and they said, ‘Oh there’s nothing to worry about’.”

After 30 minutes on the helpline, staff assured Currie the matter had been escalated to a supervisor and that someone would call back with the outcome. She says she was not asked for her unique National Health Index (NHI) number.

She also contacted the Unite against Covid-19 response team on Facebook and was again asked which DHB she was from, and that the information was correct.

“I sort of gave up after a while,” she says.

“I alerted them to the issue and they repeatedly told me I could get the vaccine, despite me saying I was a teacher aide in Christchurch.”

Nobody got back in touch, Currie says.

But she did receive another text message alerting her to booking details for her second vaccine.

Currie said she was the Ministry of Health’s last priority for the vaccine but was concerned that when it came to her getting the vaccine her record would show she had already had it.

And she is also worried that the person who the text was originally meant for might be missing out.

Auckland DHB tonight said they were “grateful” that Currie brought the mix-up to their attention.

A spokesman said they will investigate and see how she came to be texted.

“It is possible that in this instance someone has provided an incorrect mobile phone number and that has been inputted into the system,” the spokesman said.

“We can reassure the individual concerned that there would be no wastage as the person this text was intended for would have likely received and email too alerting them to their booking.

“If for some reason they didn’t receive the email either, we ensure that those who are next in the queue are contacted that day to be vaccinated so that no vaccines are wasted.

“These issues can happen very occasionally which is why the booking system has two forms of contact information for every individual.”

The Ministry of Health said that, as far as they are aware, “a case such as this hasn’t been identified to us in the past”.

But the ministry also believes it unlikely to be any vaccine wastage as the schedule allows for people to be vaccinated if there is extra vaccine left over.


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